Dr Marco-Felipe King

Dr Marco-Felipe King

Profile

I am a mathematician with a background in fluid dynamics. My teaching and research expertise are in the problem of how human behaviour effects infection risk. By combining research into contact transmission, hand hygiene, indoor air quality and environmental cleaning in hospitals, I study the spread of pathogens after multiple scales.  I work with the NHS, industry and international partners to carry out experimental and modelling based studies, in particular to explore the lifecycle of ptahogens from source to susceptible host.

I contribute as a researcher co-investigator to the EPSRC funded Hospital Environment Control, Optimisation and Infection Risk Assessment project https://HECOIRA.leeds.ac.uk, which is a 4 year funded project in collaboration with St James’ University Teaching Hospital in Leeds, Hairmyres Hospital in Lanarkshire, Monaghans and Apex4D.

I graduated from Durham University with a BSc (2008) in mathematics having investigated "Mathematical Phylotaxis and Fibonacci's Golden Ratio as my final disseration. In 2009 I graduated with distinction from the University of Leeds with an MSc in Computational Fluid Dynamics. Here I studied the optimal placement of UV germicidal irradiation air cleaning devices for the disinfection of Influenza H1N1 virus in hospital patient rooms. As a result of this interest, I undertook a PhD with Prof. Catherine J Noakes and Dr. Andy Sleigh, culminating in an award for excellence in reserach in 2013 for: "Modelling infection risk due to environmental contamination in hospital single and multi-bed ward accommodation".

Responsibilities

  • Researcher Co-I on the EPSRC HECOIRA project
  • Lecturer Indoor and Urban Air Quality
  • Lecturer Building Physics 3

Research interests

Hospital Acquired Infections

Hospital Acquired Infections are a major concern worldwide, costing the UK over £1,000 million per annum. My expertise areas are in coupling CFD dispersion of microorganism laden droplets with infection risk epidemic models taking into account stochastic human behaviour. I specialise in a multi-scale approach to infection transmission, from individual intra-host variability up to using machine learning to mimic patient infections at a macro-scopic level and the effects of hospital staff care patterns. For more information see: https://HECOIRA.leeds.ac.uk. I attempt to answer the globally important quation of whether hospital single bed rooms are better than four-bed wards are reducing the risk of infection transmission. The therapeutic value of single rooms is well know but the scientific evidence is weak. To this end I have applied CFD simulation to examinte optimal location of air disinfection devicses including ultra-violet germicidal radiation (UV-C rays) in hospital single and four bed wards.

I committee member of the ISIAQ Microbes in Indoor Environments Special Technical Committee (STC13) that aims to pool current best practice guidelines between researchers, students and industry to increase awareness of standard operating procedures including measurement techniques.

Real-time Airflow Modelling

I have worked on coupling scale resolving simulation airflow fields for indoors with outdoors within the remit of  the ESPRC funded Refresh project (2013-2017): http://Refresh-Project.org.uk. The goals of the Refresh project were to put the human at the centre of building performance and to develop new measures and models that better capture the complexity of these interactions. The project measured the transient environment around building occupants and related these to changes in their cognitive performance and sleepiness. These measures will produce new ways to create models of building environments that in turn will be available to help inform policy for building quality that takes human wellbeing in these environments into account. These models will also help us to design new kinds of environmental interaction tools.

where we ran a year long experimental campaign measuring building pressures with the University of Reading at the Silsoe site. Specific outputs included developing methodology frameworks for comparison between CFD simultaion and full-scale building ventilation and façade pressure variation. We developed and validated real-time Latice Boltzmann codes running on the GPU to speed up simualtion times 1000 fold vs Ansys Fluent.

I am a steering group memeber of the Low Energy Ventilation Network (LEVN)  EPSRC UK Fluids Network Special Interest Group which brings together academic researchers, industrial practitioners and students seeking to set the research agenda for the future of building ventilation. The aim is to develop, and enable, ventilation strategies for modern buildings that provide improved thermal comfort and better air quality for occupants whilst consuming less energy. 

Air Quality Sensor Location

I use experimental techniques to validate temperature and CO2 air quality sensors using an environmental chamber, which provides an understanding of sensor location for optimally representing indoor conditions.

Statistical Inference

In addition to this core research I also am passionate about improving statistical methods in the engineering arena, specifically by employing Directed Acyclic Graph theory to inform causal inference in experimental design and results analysis. I am working with the Leeds Institute for Data Analytics to expand the repertoire of tools and methodologies for both students and staff, whilst moving away from deterministic preconceptions into are flexible Bayesian inference approach.

Outreach Opportunities

I work with the Medical Research Council and the NHS to bring the concept of proper hand hygiene to visitors of all ages to the Thackray Medical Museum in Leeds. This involves a trans-disciplinary efforts between mathematicians, egineers and medics to create video games, and interactive exercises including glow-in-the-dark gel to exemplify how easy it is to transfer germs from one surface to another (see the video here).

Qualifications

  • PhD University of Leeds (2013)
  • MSc University of Leeds (2009)
  • BSc Durham University (2008)

Professional memberships

  • Infection Prevention Society
  • Healthcare Infection Society

Student education

I teach on Building Physics modules at level 3 and 5. I also teach on MSc modules on Indoor Air Quality. I run a yearly workshop for Cardiff University MEng students in collaboration with consultancy firm Arup to engage students in an interactive undestanding of the role that infection control plays during the design of a hospital.

Postgraduate research opportunities

We welcome enquiries from motivated and qualified applicants from all around the world who are interested in PhD study. Our research opportunities allow you to search for projects and scholarships.

Research groups and institutes

  • Cities and Infrastructure
  • Energy and Sustainable Buildings
  • Water, Public Health and Environmental Engineering
<h4>Postgraduate research opportunities</h4> <p>We welcome enquiries from motivated and qualified applicants from all around the world who are interested in PhD study. Our <a href="https://phd.leeds.ac.uk">research opportunities</a> allow you to search for projects and scholarships.</p>